Air India plane hits wall during take-off

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The pilots, clearly unaware of the damage to the aircraft, reported that "all systems were functioning normally", but the flight was diverted to Mumbai anyway as a precaution.

The different flight was arranged to take the passengers from Mumbai to Dubai.

Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday ordered a high level enquiry into a serious incident on Friday when a Dubai-bound Air India Express aircraft's wheels hit a perimeter wall during take off at Trichy airport in Tamil Nadu in the early hours of Friday.

One of the wheels of the plane struck the wall. DGCA officers are at site for preliminary inquiry and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau officers have also been deputed, he said.

Air traffic control informed the cockpit of the impact and the flight was diverted to Mumbai. Despite the damage, the pilot and co-pilot managed to divert the plane. After landing in Mumbai, some damages were noticed on the aircraft. An officer told NDTV parts of the plane's antenna were found at Trichy Airport.

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The pilot in command, Captain D Ganesh Babu, has a flying experience on the B 737 aircraft of 3600 hours while the First Officer, Captain Anurag, has an experience of almost 3000 hours on the B 737. The pair collectively has over 6,000 flight hours logged with a Boeing 737. The plane was landed in Mumbai and taxied to the parking stand.

All 136 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 737 landed safely at another airport and were put on another flight to Dubai, officials said. "So we allowed them (to proceed)", he said.

The airport authorities have started a probe into the freak accident while technicians in Mumbai are examining the damaged aircraft.

After the incident, an internal inquiry has been set up, pilot & co-pilot derostered until the investigation is done. "Growth can't be at the expense of safety", Prabhu said.

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